A 50 Minute Dive Into the World of Shakespearean Drama – Grand Valley Lanthorn


GVL / Annabelle Robinson

Grand Valley State University once again hosted its Shakespeare Festival with an exciting performance of “Bard to Go: What Mighty Magic”.

The production team, a small group of GVSU students, visited schools throughout the Western Michigan area and statewide and performed at GVSU on November 6.

According to the event page on GVSU’s website, Bard to Go was created to take audiences on a journey through Shakespeare’s most majestic stages, filled with supernatural creatures and even a statue coming to life.

The program lasted 50 minutes and consisted of scenes from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “The Storm”, “Macbeth”, “Hamlet” and “The Winter’s Tale”, and was presented as a quick introduction to the world of Shakespeare. drama.

The event was hosted by Associate Theater Professor GVSU and Shakespeare Festival Executive Director Dr James A. Bell.

In addition to hosting the event, Bell explained that he was also the producer of the Bard to Go team.

“My role is as a producer,” Bell said. “I am also the General Manager of the Shakespeare Festival, which means that I oversee and coordinate all the events. As a producer, I was responsible for organizing our tour dates and performances and also facilitating resources and staff.

Bell said that each member of the class, which was created purely for the production, had their own role in preparing for the show.

“Bard to Go is an annual part of the Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival. It’s a class with 6 artists and a stage manager, ”said Bell. “The production manager teaches the class, and then there is usually a producer who helps organize the tour with the schools in the area. “

Bell said that in recent years the band have had a consistent tour schedule, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their usual tour date schedule has had to be changed slightly.

“Usually we play four Fridays in October and November 1st in area schools,” Bell said. “This year, back from COVID, we were able to have three tour dates on Friday and we will have performed in 5 schools in the region. We always end the tour with a free public performance.

Bell said the show and festival provide an extremely beneficial service to GVSU students as they are designed to help them discover the world of Shakespeare.

Bard to Go gave students and members of the Laker community the opportunity not only to attend a performance, but also to learn a little more about the works of Shakespeare.

“Bard to Go is designed to be a short play that helps students experience Shakespeare’s performances,” Bell said. “It’s always a fun, high-energy production. The closing with a public performance where we have a lot of new artists is a great opportunity for the community to see Shakespeare in performance and to see some of these new artists in our theater program. It will be a lot of fun. “

In addition to last weekend’s performances, the GVSU Shakespeare Festival will continue throughout the winter.

While Macbeth’s November performances have been canceled, another show will take place in January. Bell said he was particularly excited about it.

“In January the Shakespeare Festival will close with another production, this one a main production in our Black Box Theater of Tom Stoppard’s ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead’,” Bell said. “It will also be a really fun production which is currently in rehearsal.”

For more information on other Shakespeare Festival productions, dates and protocols for attendees, you can visit the GVSU Music, Theater and Dance Department website.


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